Thursday, March 5, 2015
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
In a study published last week in the journal Science Advances, researchers found that people with chronic-fatigue syndrome showed measurable differences in their immune systems, a discovery that may enable doctors to diagnose the disease more quickly down the road—and one that sheds more light on its still-mysterious biological origins.
"It's been a highly stigmatized disorder. There's been many naysayers that don't even believe it's a biological disorder," said Mady Hornig, the lead researcher and a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
... The paper is the second in recent months to describe physical differences linked to the disease: In October, researchers at Stanford University observed differences in the white matter of the brains of patients with chronic-fatigue syndrome, a finding that Drew Foster described in The Atlantic as "a social-legitimacy jackpot."
... the National Institutes of Health have budgeted $5 million for research into chronic-fatigue syndrome for 2015, one of the smallest amounts on its itemized list of projected spending. (For context, headaches were allotted $24 million, and multiple sclerosis $103 million.)
So, here we are nearly 3 decades later, and finally there's something that looks like forward progress, including the information that the early years of the disease look very different from the later years. Any hope for an "easy cure" is gone – I've been sick a lot longer than the 5-year cutoff that researchers have been finding. At this point, all I can hope for is that a new name finally gives it enough credibility that I can qualify for some sort of assistance, primarily volunteer drivers and cleaners who are trained to work with the disabled and not make things worse by creating heavy boxes "for you to put away!" that are placed in front of the doors and drawers I would have to open in order to put those things away.
Friday, February 27, 2015
The immune systems of people with chronic fatigue syndrome differ from those of healthy people, and patients with recent diagnoses can be distinguished from those who have had the condition for longer, researchers reported on Friday.
The findings do not have immediate clinical applications for patients, experts said. But the biomarkers discovered by the scientists eventually may form the basis of the first diagnostic test for the illness.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
The disease process that most resembled CFS was Systemic Inflammatory
Response Syndrome, also known as SIRS; this correlation had a staggering 100%
resemblance. From the Lipkin/Hornig data and our data the picture that
clearly emerges is that ME/CFS is indeed an inflammatory disease."
-- Dr Montoya (of Stanford) on the CDC call at 36:40
Slightly Alive: The IOM Report on ME/CFS (SEID)
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
A Disease Doctors Refuse to See
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Needs Effective Treatments
TOO often, doctors don't understand chronic fatigue syndrome. They don't know how to diagnose it, and they frequently even believe that patients with the disease are just whining or suffering from psychological problems. This needs to change.
That was the message from the Institute of Medicine's recent report on the illness...
I hope, and believe, that this report will help some patients get diagnoses more quickly and accurately. But to get anywhere close to the care that patients so desperately need, no report is enough. It will require objective tests and effective treatments. For that, federal agencies will have to start making an investment in this disease that's proportional to the devastation it causes.
Julie Rehmeyer is a science writer and contributing editor at Discover Magazine.